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by
Michele Catalano

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October 25, 2009 - 12:00 am
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You’re standing in your kitchen making coffee. You are naked, but no one else is home. It’s early in the morning and you are in the privacy of your own home. All right, so maybe you’re a little bit odd, and maybe not everyone makes coffee naked. But your house, your rules, right?

That’s probably what Virginia resident Eric Williamson was thinking last Monday morning as he made himself coffee while dressed in nothing but his birthday suit. Unfortunately for Williamson, he wasn’t quite as alone as he thought. Walking through his yard were a woman and her seven-year-old son, on their way to the son’s school. The woman — a wife of a police officer – saw Williamson’s naked torso through his window and called the cops. Williamson was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

There are some disputed accounts of this story. It is unclear precisely what time of the morning it happened and whether or not the man moved to another window as the mother and child walked across the lawn in order to remain in their range of vision.What’s not in dispute here is that the man was in his own home and the mother and kid were on his property, walking across his grass.

Perhaps the fact that the mother is a police officer’s wife had nothing to do with the overblown reaction, including the arrest of the man and an investigation to determine if this has ever happened with Williamson before, but I think we can guess it was a  factor. Something seems to have made the police department all too eager to arrest a guy for being nude in his own kitchen.

Williamson seems like the victim of cops gone wild. How many people do things in their own home that they wouldn’t do in public? The sanctity of our house is the last bastion many of us have.

Whether it’s something simple like smoking during dinner (outlawed in most public places) or something less innocent involving nudity and preferably our partner or spouse, we feel safe and protected in our house — or at least we should, presuming the activity isn’t criminal.

But nosy people and prudish neighbors think that if they wouldn’t do it, you shouldn’t be doing it either. Maybe most of us close the drapes if we’re walking around in just our skin, but we don’t have to — no such law exists. I’m sure it did not cross Williamson’s mind, as he walked into the kitchen and reached for the coffee pot, that a woman would be walking her kid across his lawn and looking in his window.

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